Human beings and other creatures: Education for sustainable development

Wai Sum Amy Lee

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference proceeding

Abstract

Creatures other than human beings have existed in our culture since our earliest memory. Whether used as images to stand in for divine powers, as figures to represent nature, or even as bearers of human fears and desires, these non-human creatures have taken up numerous shapes and forms in the rich cultures throughout our history. Despite our success in space adventure, and in enormous efforts to dispel “supernatural” intervention in our lives, non-human creatures remain a prominent presence in our lives today, moreover adapting more and more functions with increasing visibility. While it is understandable to see non-human creatures being featured in children’s fictions and young adult literature, it is perhaps worth pondering the spread of these creatures to mainstream popular culture in the English speaking world. This paper proposes to examine a recent fictional publication by history professor Deborah Harkness, Discovery of Witches (2011), which not only features a world containing human beings, vampires, witches, and daemons as regular members of the population, but also a witch as the main character and narrator. Although the multi-species world has a history in western culture, this fiction presents a world not only as an ancient fantasy but also a 21st century tale of the anxiety of extinction. Through the examination of how the non-human creatures tried to understand their origins, we can view this fictional representation as a masked human search for sustainable development when threatened by a sense of impending end.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Asian Conference on Education 2012 Official Conference Proceedings
PublisherThe International Academic Forum (IAFOR)
Pages814-820
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013
EventThe Fouth Asian Conference on Education 2012 - Osaka, Japan
Duration: 24 Oct 201228 Oct 2012
https://papers.iafor.org/proceedings/conference-proceedings-ace2012/

Publication series

NameAsian Conference on Education Official Conference Proceedings
PublisherThe International Academic Forum (IAFOR)
ISSN (Print)2186-5892

Conference

ConferenceThe Fouth Asian Conference on Education 2012
Country/TerritoryJapan
CityOsaka
Period24/10/1228/10/12
Internet address

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